Ryan oversees three businesses at YouTube, which includes Gaming, Telco and Tech, as well as the growing Virtual Reality business. Ryan leads a team from around the world to manage global Gaming Publisher partnerships, Top Gaming Content Creators, live streamers and Esports Leagues. In addition to his Gaming role, Ryan leads the VR/AR and Telco & Tech businesses overseeing global strategy, content and partnerships, budget development, P&L, and cross-functional work for these respective businesses.
Ryan joined YouTube in 2014 to create the Gaming vertical, and has since lead Gaming at YouTube to be the most watched Gaming content platform in the world, and has also done the same for the Virtual Reality video business on YouTube.
Previously, Ryan worked in senior roles with major gaming industry companies, including Vice President of Programming with Major League Gaming and Head of Live and eSports at Machinima. As a prominent Esports personality, Ryan is known for his strategic contributions in growing the Esports scene while in his former roles, and as a New York Times Best Selling Author for his work on OpTic Gaming: The Making of Esports Champions. Ryan also was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 in 2014 for his work in the Gaming industry.
The art or at least the true essence of photography is the ability to encapsulate a moment of time for all to see and be able to capture the subtleties of grace within it. Esports is built upon such subtleties. Esports consists of millions upon millions of micro decisions. Impactful nuances, turning points and game winning moments. There are many reasons why Joe Brady won the Esports Awards Esports Photographer of the Year for 2017, and any self-respecting esports fan will have been witness to them. Through his unrelenting passion for esports he faced the daunting task of trying to outgun those with maybe more experience, and those with technically superior equipment. Joe Brady did what only some of us in this life can hope to achieve, and that is to be able to follow his passion. Through his time working in TV on the likes of renowned BBC titles such as QI, The Apprentice and Top Gear, Joe gained an invaluable insight into what it would take in order to fulfil his dream. Being able to capture the likes of Stephen Fry, Lord Sugar and every amazing super car one could hope to imagine laid a foundation of experience that Joe Brady could take into his true calling, esports. Joe Brady has managed to turn what was once a hobby into a full time profession, through hard work, grit and determination. With his trusted camera in hand Joe Brady has set about redefining the benchmark for what is to be expected from photographers at esports events. This award is richly deserved as he proved popular amongst both the esports community voters and the panel of judges. Joe Brady takes his place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame and cements his legacy.
Monster support the scene, their bands, their athletes and their fans. They back athletes so they can make a career out of their passion.
Monster Energy are more than just a sponsor. They take an active role in supporting esports: organisations, competitors and the fans to help develop a more worthwhile experience. Their continued involvement has allowed many to make a career out of their passion.
Coldzera a rifler for SK Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster. He enjoyed great success playing a vital role in SK Gaming winning ESL One Cologne and MLG Major Championship in 2016. Valve honoured one of his defining moments of 2016, with a unique map alteration to pay homage to his individual heroics in a semi final match.
EnVyUs originally founded in 2007 as a Call of Duty team, have gone from strength to strength and can now be considered one of the largest and most respected esports organisations in the world. Boasting rosters across 7 different titles, EnVyUs are a competitive mainstay in the esports community.
The Score creates mobile-first sports experiences, connecting fans through news, scores, fantasy information and Alerts.
theScore creates mobile-first sports experiences, connecting fans to what they love through an addictive combination of real-time news, scores, fantasy information and alerts while creating and curating content that is mobile optimized, comprehensive, customizable and seamlessly shareable.
The ability to encapsulate a moment of time for all to bear witness to. Robert Paul captured some of the finest moments in all of esports and continues to lead the way in esports photography.
Half Polish half Jordanian but 100% dedication, Miracle became the first Dota 2 player to achieve a 9000 matchmaking ranking. He was an integral part of the team that won the first ever Dota 2 major.
Blizzard’s Overwatch released in 2016 to both critical acclaim and commercial success has continued to develop and evolve into an esports franchise. A team based online multiplayer first person shooter that adds strategical elements of character selection based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Richard Lewis is an esports journalist who rarely shuns away from reporting the sometimes difficult or controversial. A journalist, host and analyst that has earned the respect he commands through his invaluable insight and dedication for honest transparent reporting.
The International is a Dota 2 esports championship tournament. Hosted by its developer, Valve, it returned for its 6th iteration. Set in the location of the Key Arena in Seattle, this tournament saw the largest prize pool ever awarded in esports history at a staggering $20 million.
Scump is the epitome of what can be defined as the modern esports athlete. His performances throughout the Call of Duty franchise have attracted an audience of over 1.8million subscribers on Youtube. Captain of OpTic Gaming, he is the only esports player in history to win back to back MLG X Games gold medals.
Scuf Gaming creates handcrafted, professional controllers, and highend gaming accessories for PC and Console.
Scuf Gaming is a leader and innovator in the design of handcrafted personalised controllers. Scuf Gaming are trusted by the Top Professionals of esports to deliver optimum performance.
A retired League of Legends pro for Team Dignitas, Michael Imaqtpie Santana has amassed a following comprised of: Over 1.6million Twitch Followers, Over 1.2 millions Youtube Subscribers with close to 300 million views and 291 thousand Twitter followers. These numbers represent what an engaging, insightful and genuinely humorous individual Imaqtpie is. His most likable quality, is his ability to find the utterly absurd in and amongst the virulent, then transform it into an entertainment at nobody’s expense but his own.
Twitch is one of the world’s leading video platform and community for Gamers. Founded in June 2011, Twitch is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers, video game culture, and the creative arts. Each day, close to 10 million visitors gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 2 million streamers. Millions of people engage with Twitch to stream, view, and interact around these shared passions together.
Captain of the most successful team in Counter Strike in 2016, Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo led his team of Brazilian underdogs to not one, but two Major championships this year. They also climbed to number one in the world in the unofficial CS:GO rankings during 2016, but all of this would not have been possible without their captain.
Not only an incredible player, but also one of the most down to earth personalities in eSports. Gabriel also took risks to get where he is today, helping to move his team from Brazil to the USA to help improve their practice and chances but then also helped financially and with community sourcing to give his biggest rival team, Immortals, the same chance he had been given. Not just a captain, but a leader, an inspiration and true living legend of eSports.
CS:GO is an online multiplayer first person shooter. Developed by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment, grew immensely in 2016. CS:GO had its largest prize pools, and a continuously increasing audience either attending or watching its events.
Constantly brings tournaments to life” “definitely improved over the last couple of years” “the happy deagle ace was the most perfect example of casting I have ever seen. Everything Semmler does in that clip is technically brilliant. Phenominal, to the way he paces himself to the words he uses to the sheer joy he adds.
UK Esports Player of the Year (CoD) Swanny is the embodiment of the modern esports professional. A Call of Duty veteran. The second European to enter a North American organisation’s roster. Swanny is a player popular with fans and contemporaries alike.
The best esports live events have crowds who create a scintillating atmosphere. They provide action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. They play host to the pinnacle of their individual esport. The best players, the biggest teams all presided over by the highest level of broadcaster and analysts. The 2017 League of Legends managed to capture all of these factors and more. Delivering a tournament with a prize pool of $5 million on the line, the elite of League of Legends waged battle with one another in a quest to be crowned the best in the world. With a new format introduced for the group stage, a best of 1, saw a highly competitive first round. Teams had to be focussed from the first minute or face defeat and the possibility of elimination. This year’s tournament was held in 4 venues across China, with a concurrent viewership on Twitch of over a million. This year’s final saw the reigning and defending 3 time champions SK Telecom 1 dethroned by Samsung Galaxy, who avenged their loss in 2016. To stop SK Telecom 1’s Faker, who was in imposing form was no mean feat. What is most impressive was Samsung Galaxy’s clear dominance over their jaded opposition (SK Telecom 1’s roster had clocked over a 100 minutes more of gameplay per player compared to their opponents) white washing them 3-0. League of Legends World Championships 2017 take their place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Live Event of the Year.
A master craftsman is only as good as his tools; this statement rings true in the world of esports. With demands thrust upon them by both the elite level pros and fans alike, Hardware Providers work tirelessly to bring equipment that is capable of delivering a seamless esports experience. Intel is one such hardware provider. Voted for by both the esports community and the esteemed panel of judges as the 2017 Esports Awards Esports Hardware Provider of the Year, Intel have delivered consistently exceptional quality in all facets of their equipment production. From extreme rigs used by the best competitors to powerful servers that connect millions of gamers to the esport of their choice, Intel deliver on its claim that the Pro Gaming world runs on Intel technology. The Intel Core i7 gaming processor gives the speed and flexibility to play, stream and record without compromise. Having partnered with the ESL, Intel was tasked with the challenge of powering live tournament events. They have succeeded in providing the highest of qualities, enhancing the overall esports experience for competitors and fans jointly. Intel for their diligence and tireless efforts in driving the entire industry’s standards, take their place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Hardware Provider of the Year.
A brand new award for 2017, the Esports Play of the Year was a culmination of community interaction across a number of months. The four finalists each won their respective months before moving on to the final community vote to see who would be crowned the Esports Awards Play of the Year. FormaL’s display at the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship proved pivotal. Holding the hard point for Optic Gaming, after Karma falls, the responsibility lies with FormaL to battle Luminosity solo and see his team through to the final. This play was delivered under the highest of pressure and when his team needed it the most. His pinpoint accuracy saw him pickup multiple kills during this phase of play. The esports community voted in record numbers to ensure FormaL took home the award over the likes of, Astralis’ Dupreeh, Echo Fox’s Tokido and Faze Clan’s Niko. It was plays such as these that saw Optic Gaming not only win the Call of Duty World League Championship but also saw FormaL crowned MVP of the tournament. FormaL for the second time in 2017 enters the Esports Awards Hall of Fame for his excellent Play of the Year as voted by you the esports community.
In his first season, Victor “Punk” Woodley burst onto the Street Fighter V scene with a flourish of exceptional performances. Punk has climbed the ranks of the Capcom Pro Tour, reaching the number 1 spot in both the North American and Global rankings. Coming from seemingly nowhere, Punk has become one of the hottest Street Fighter V players in the world. Representing Panda Global, Punk continues to rack up the impressive displays. Seeing off all comers at the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational, Punk took home the $150,000 first prize. A second placed finish at EVO 2017 followed as well as a first place finish at DreamHack Austin 2017. Punk plays as Karin, his meteoric rise is unprecedented and he now faces the pressures associated with being a favourite. When he locks horns with the elite level talent on the Street Fighter V scene he now faces the pressure of being expected to win. Not many rookie seasons can compare to the success that Victor “Punk” Woodley’s can boast. It is not just for the performances in game but the standing he has earned by taking on and conquering some of the scenes biggest names. Victor “Punk” Woodley has been recognised in 2017 for his excellent rookie season by the esports community. He takes his place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Console Rookie of the Year.
Coverage of any sporting event requires a human voice to emote excitement, empathise with the losers and convey the grandeur of winning by the victors. This is paramount in esports, where a caster has the unique ability to enhance the coverage of the event tenfold. The broadcaster holds in his hands the power to elicit emotion in the audience watching. Alex “Machine” Richardson started his career back in 2015 and has been integral to the CS:GO viewing experience since. With an enigmatic persona, he is able to hold an audiences’ attention in the precipice of play. Machine has an acute ability to understand what is going to happen before it takes place. Executing right on cue, Machine has a habit of not just saying the right line but delivering it with such a passion he transports the audience from behind their screen straight into the action. Machine allows the action to unfold in front of the esports audience before adding his unique take on the events. He builds a narrative to go along with the action, engrossing the audience transforming what some might mistake for a simple game into a story. Sometimes the all-conquering force is upset by the plucky underdog or a team snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. Alex “Machine” Richardson takes the audience into the heart of any action he may be hosting and for this reason he is the 2017 Esports Broadcaster of the Year, taking his place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame.
2017 saw the esports community spoiled with a bounty of video content, with ample opportunities to follow some of the largest esports organisations. The likes of Team SoloMid, G2 and Optic Gaming have provided fans with footage that would previously have gone unseen. Davis “Hitch” Edwards is an integral part of Optic Gaming’s video output. The lead producer of the highly acclaimed Vision series, he has provided insight into all facets of Optic Gaming. He has taken the esports community behind the scenes of this elite level esports organisation, providing in depth interviews and curating highly engaging content. The role of the videographer is not that of mere cameraman, and should not be thought of as such. The role of esports videographer is far more complex. Responsible for compiling and curating content, the true role of an esports videographer is to take the audience behind the lens. Making the otherwise inaccessible accessible, Hitch plays an integral role in Optic Gaming’s stellar video output, this is more apparent to both the esports community and the esteem Esports Awards panel of judges. For his incredible content and production, Hitch takes his place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Videographer of the Year.
An esports publisher is tasked with a duty to a tribalistic, passionate and vociferous following. Emblazoned by their love of the game that the publisher has created, any update can be met with scepticism. Publishers walk a tight rope of trying to enhance the experience of their product by introducing new features, characters and abilities whilst trying to appease a diehard audience. Riot Games is one such esports publisher, tasked with this responsibility. For their continued dedication to League of Legends, Riot Games won the 2017 Esports Awards Esports Publisher of the Year. Being proponents of League of Legends, Riot Games have led the way for all other publishers in esports bringing about an engaging, exciting and fluid dynamic to their title. Throughout 2017 Riot Games consistently delivered updates to drive fresh and new in game mechanics. Players are challenged to rehone their skill sets and thought processes around League of Legends strategy. Riot Games find themselves in the position of being responsible for administrating the most played title in the world. League of Legends is a staple of the esports world and can regularly boast live audiences anywhere up to 80,000 people. Riot Games are faced with the task of maintaining a game that receives over a 100 million users. This near insurmountable task of delivering a fresh experience whilst staying true to the original vision is the reason why the esports community voted so vehemently in favour of Riot Games. Riot take their place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the Esports Publisher of the Year for 2017.
Esports has evolved and continues to do so, with the role of the journalist having evolved with it. Esports was a medium that was written about by enthusiasts doing it because they were passionate and dedicated. With esports continued growth, professional journalists now report on esports. It has also afforded the opportunity for esports enthusiasts to make the transition into becoming professional journalists. The hard hitting esports historian himself, Duncan “Thorin” Shields won the 2017 Esports Awards Esports Journalist of the Year. Known for his highly analytical and detailed articles that are enriched with a historical knowledge, Thorin delivers an honest perspective on any facet of esports he is writing about. Starting his career back in 2001, Thorin has acquired an unparalleled level of knowledge of esports. A true catalyst of the esports community, he poses the probing questions that engulf the esports community in debate. An analyst primarily for Counter Strike and League of Legends, Thorin is the creator of the popular video series Thorin’s Thoughts. An analyst beyond compare his presence brings an instant legitimacy to any coverage or comments surrounding esports. A polarizing and sometimes controversial figure Duncan “Thorin” Shields has proved time and time again that he is not scared to ask the difficult questions, and what’s more he gets an answer. For his dedication and passion for delivering insightful pieces of journalism in esports, Duncan “Thorin” Shields takes his place in the 2017 Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the Esports Journalist of the Year.
The Esports Awards Esports Coverage Website of the Year for 2017 was deservedly won by ESPN Esports. Whether it is the hottest breaking news, expert views, transfer and roster gossip, contagious content and rumours, these are what esports enthusiasts crave. The types of content the esports community can’t get enough of and live without. In esports, companies have to go to great lengths to bring 24/7 esports content to us. ESPN Esports did that consistently in 2017 to aplomb. Introducing their innovative professional esports calendar, this has taken ESPN Esports above and beyond their rivals. This level of accessibility to every fixture, in not just one esport but across as variety, was previously untenable. ESPN is a company that is renowned for having its finger on the pulse of any sport. Consistently delivering the hard hitting articles, expert analysis and driving its competitors to reach loftier heights, ESPN Esports is changing the way in which people report on esports. Esports audiences have migrated towards ESPN Esports, because it is a brand that has built a reputation of being synonymous with trust. A true hub of information ESPN Esports has been on a different level this past year, keeping the esports community engaged and informed. The esports community voted in record numbers this year and have spoken, ESPN Esports takes its place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Coverage Website of the Year.
Commercial Partners within esports are crucial. In order for esports to grow and expand it is quintessential that it continues to attract investment and sponsorship. It is also vital that this commercial input is tailored to the esports product and audience. These companies should believe in esports. The Esports Awards know the significance of recognising these companies that have injected sponsorship and investment into the infrastructure of esports to help it grow into what today is being talked about as a billion dollar industry. G Fuel Energy is a company that was conceived by a group of gamers, eating pizza, playing COD, listening to T-Pain whilst grinding out a long gaming session. They came to realise that there was no tailor made energy drink to meet the needs of gamers, G Fuel Energy was born. Now the Official energy drink of esports it is endorsed by elite level professional such as Faze Clan as well as some of the largest esports streamers in the world including: Dr Disrespect and Lirik. G Fuel Energy recognised the need for sustained energy and focus during in game play and have designed their product to facilitate this requirement. Designed by gamers for gamers to stave off the ‘energy jitters and drained feeling’ G Fuel Energy has succeeded in meeting the needs of the esports community. G Fuel Energy rightfully enter Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Commercial Partner of the Year.
The Esports Awards know the significance of recognising home grown talent. The burgeoning UK esports scene has begun to produce levels of talent that have started to compete on the world scene. Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing is one such talent. Gorilla has produced some sublime performances in the past year. Gorilla dominated the FIFA gaming scene both domestically and internationally. On the largest stage that EA Sports FIFA has to offer, Gorilla saw off Kai ‘Deto’ Wollin in the finals of the 2017 FIFA Interactive World Cup to lay his claim to being the best FIFA player in the world. His consistent performances during the previous year for UNILAD, saw him as a strong favourite among our elite judging panel and the esports community. These performances also saw him gain a nomination for the 2017 Esports Console Player of the Year award by the esports community, though he narrowly missed out to Optic Gaming’s FormaL. As a diehard West Bromwich Albion fan, Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing knows that sometimes you may have to play ugly at times in order to grind out the results to become a champion. A 6 time Gfinitiy tournament champion, Gorilla has gotten a real taste for lifting trophies. He’s added an Esports Awards trophy to his collection and take his rightful place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the UK Esports Player of the Year 2017.
To create and realise an artistic vision that is both universally adored by the public and lauded by the critics is no small feat. For that creation to be accepted and enjoyed by the masses for its intended purpose would be fulfilment to most. Brendan Greene and Bluehole Studio initially created a mod for ARMA 2, however the Battle Royale scenario soon began to transcend and outgrow its parent title. PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds is now a standalone title, but has evolved once again into an emerging esport. Attracting large concurrent audiences and clocking many viewing hours on the ever popular streaming platform Twitch, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has proved to be a massive hit. The game is favoured by some of the largest streamers and is one of the preferred titles of the 2017 Esports Streamer of the Year Dr Disrespect. Some of his most pivotal, captivating and engaging moments have come in game whilst playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The game earned a staggering $11 million during its first weekend as an early access title. Many of the major Esports Organisations have begun to recognise the potential of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and the importance of assembling teams in order to compete in forthcoming competitions. In August 2017 Team SoloMid’s Gary “BreaK” Marshall was nominated for one of the Esports Plays of the Month for his displays at the PUBG Gamescom Invitational. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the true breakout title of the esports world in 2017, attracting universal praise for its highly accessible content. Taking its place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports Awards Breakthrough Game of the Year, is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegorunds.
The Esports Awards Esports PC Player of the Year is a category that has caused fierce debate. Throughout each step of the awards process from nominations, to the finalist vote this award lit up the esports community with debate. With a multitude of standout performers from a whole host of esports, the esports community have selected Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barqawi as the Esports PC Player of the Year. The winner of the 2016 Esports Awards PC Rookie of the Year, Miracle- has kicked on again this season churning out performance after performance for Team Liquid. The first player in Dota2 history to reach a 9000MMR, Miracle- set the standards high for himself and the rest of his teammates. Team Liquid enjoyed a stellar 2017 with 7 tournament wins. Since the end of May 2017 Team Liquid were near unplayable, with Miracle- being absolutely key to this streak, helping Team Liquid to victories in 6 out of 8 tournaments. The standout performance of the year came at the International 2017 where Team Liquid vanquished Newbee, whitewashing them 3-0 to claim the $10,862,683 prize. This prize every team at the tournament was competing so valiantly for, was the largest in esports history at that point in time. Miracle-’s performances were integral to his team’s prosperity and success during both this tournament and the entire season. It is not often a player makes such a seamless transition from rookie to star but Miracle- in only his second season and at only 20 years of age, looks on course to being an all-time great. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barqawi enters the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as the 2017 Esports PC Player of the Year.
Some people’s contributions in esports go unnoticed but are invaluable to the infrastructure to the industry as a whole. These selfless acts go unrecognised and unnoticed. The Esports Awards sought to rectify this by introducing the Unsung Hero of Esports award for 2017. The award in 2017 was deservedly won by Megan ‘RheingoldRiver’ Cutrofello for her dedication to the creation of building both Esportspedia and EsportsWikis. These sites have become the go to hub for any esports enthusiast looking for detailed information on a whole variety of esports. With over 650,000 edits and over 20,000 uploaded files without these hubs of information, esports would just not be the same. Without her tireless dedication and passion for esports, information would be both scattered and limited. Megan ‘RheingoldRiver’ Cutrofello’s contribution is recognised by the Esports Awards both by the expert panel and esports community alike. The esports community and the Esports Awards panel were both in agreement with each other that Megan ‘RheingoldRiver’ Cutrofello has made the outstanding contribution to esports in 2017. Entering the Esports Hall of Fame as the Esports Unsung Hero of the Year 2017 is Megan ‘RheingoldRiver’ Cutrofello.
Lifting the award for Esports Awards Esports Team of the Year 2017 are Optic Gaming. Their performances throughout the 2017 in Call of Duty have been superlative. Led by the 2016 Esports Console Player of the Year Seth “Scump” Abner, Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Damon “Karma” Barlow and the 2017 Esports Console Player of the Year Mathew “FomaL” Piper have formed one of the deadliest most talked about and must see teams in all of esports history. Optic Gaming’s record in the 2017 season speaks for itself with wins at MLG GameBattles 2K Series NA, 2017 CWL Paris Open, MLG GameBattles 2K Series NA, CWL Dallas Open. Optic gaming’s biggest win of the season came in August, at the Call of Duty World league Championship, where they defeated Team EnVyUs in the final and took home the $600,000 prize. FormaL’s displays during the tournament earned him the MVP award. It’s not often teams can cement a line-up, of such talented individuals, for such a consistently long time. Three of Optic Gaming’s line-up were nominated finalists for the 2017 Esports Award for Esports Console Player of the Year: FormaL, Scump and Crimsix. The fourth member of Optic Gaming Karma earned himself a 2017 Esports Personality of the Year nomination. The essence of team work is to enhance each player’s strengths and minimise their weaknesses. Optic Gaming’s line-up for Call of Duty during 2017 was a team of talented individuals, none bigger than the sum of their parts. A team we welcome gladly into the Esports Awards Hall of Fame. It is only fitting that their greatest victory of the season is against our 2016 Esports Team of the Year Team EnVyUs, Optic Gaming are the 2017 Esports Team of the Year.
Personalities in esports become representatives of their individual esports. They formulate a sense of what is to be expected whilst consuming an esport. The audience begin to identify that chosen esport with the personality in question. They become unilaterally bonded through association both working in unison to cultivate entertainment for the viewer. Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere is a name synonymous with League of Legends. Starting out in 2012, Sjokz has gone on to form a lasting relationship with the esports community both player and fan alike. Sjokz is a personality who subtlety enhances the League of Legends viewing experience, with an interview style that enables players to relax in any given situation, no matter how large the stakes are. To ask a question as a broadcaster or journalist is often an easy feat but asking the right question is often harder. To nurture the difficult answers to the right questions is a feat that Sjokz does with consummate ease. The host of both the European LCS and World Championships, Sjokz expertly diverts the conversation to the hard hitting points always keeping the fan at the forefront. Having evolved with the esports industry and grown as a result, Sjokz is welcomed into the Esports Awards Hall of Fame lifting the 2017 Esports Awards Esports Personality of the Year.
Taking home the 2017 Esports Award for Esports PC Rookie of the Year, Abay “HObbit” Khasenov has truly had one of the breakout years in esports. This rookie Rifler has starred for Team Gambit throughout 2017, helping them to secure 5 tournament wins in the process. HObbit born in Kazakhstan joined Team Gambit in August 2016, initially on loan until August 2017 when the move was made permanent. HObbit had to wait until the October DreamHack Winter Qualifier before making his debut for Team Gambit. His performances for his team helped secure qualification to the full tournament and were a sign of things to come. Team Gambit clicked into a groove during the winter season winning the Acer Predator Masters Season 3, WESG 2016 Asia Pacific Finals and DreamHack Winter 2016. In each of those final match-ups HObbit was a sensation and ensured that he and his team mates not only won, but did it convincingly, not conceding a game. The standout performance and accolade for both HObbit and Team Gambit came at the PGL Major Krakow in July 2017. With a $1 million prize pool and a $500,000 main prize to play for this was an enthralling tournament. With their rookie Rifler, HObbit, they tore through the likes of Fnatic and Astralis making it through to the final where they faced Immortals. With a 2-1 victory in the finals this secured one of the largest prizes on offer throughout the CS:GO season. There are few rookies who establish themselves as first choice for their teams, let alone go on to star in Major tournaments for them. HObbit takes his place in this year’s Esports Awards Hall of Fame for his standout first season in esports and everybody is looking forward to his second season.
The two time winner of the Esports Awards Streaming Platform of the Year, Twitch has come to redefine what it means to watch esports online. Twitch plays host to some of the finest curators of content in the world. Twitch is an interactive hub enabling likeminded individuals to form a collective bond through a shared enthusiasm for esports. Twitch acquired in 2014 by Amazon, for a reported $970 million, has had continued success and continues to attract new users. Twitch features over 2.2 million unique content creators each month, so it is little surprise why users spend on average 106 minutes per person a day viewing. This time is spent enjoying and witnessing players, tournaments and individual pieces of highly technical expertise in the world of esports. Both the 2016 Esports Awards Esports Streamer of the year Michael “imaqtpie” Santana and the reigning 2017 Esports Streamer of the Year Dr Disrespect stream to their audiences via Twitch. Even the 2017 Esports Awards ceremony was exclusively streamed on Twitch. Twitch has cultivated a community of users who are able to interact with one another and come together to achieve truly remarkable feats. One such example of these feats is the extraordinary sum raised for charity by the Twitch community. That figure currently stands at over $65 million. In terms of esports content, Twitch is so far ahead of the competition, with its users and members coming out to highlight that point in force in 2017. Both our panel of esteem judges and the esports community voted unanimously, in favour of Twitch. There are some pretenders to the throne of Esports Streaming Platform of the Year but there can only be one King. Twitch for the second year in a row take their rightful place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame as Streaming Platform of the Year.
The battle for the Esports Award for Console Player of the Year was a shootout amongst three of Optic Gaming’s finest competitors. Mathew “FormaL” Piper was crowned ahead of team mates Ian “Crimsix” Porter and the former Esports Awards Console Player of the Year Seth “Scump” Abner. Playing a major role in Optic Gaming’s largest accolade of the past year, winning the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship, FormaL earned the title of tournament MVP. Optic Gaming defeated Team EnVyUs in the final and secured the $600,000 prize pool to cap off a great year. FormaL’s consistent contributions to his team paid off throughout 2017. Optic gaming won 6 tournaments in between the 2016 and 2017 Esports Awards ceremonies. Any Player of the Year award always entices an engaging debate amongst the esports community as to who should receive recognition. Whether it should be someone from a single player environment or a team based environment. With his contributions and accolades across the year, very few can argue with FormaL being crowned Esports Console Player of the year. Having started back in 2013, FormaL can now be recognised as one of the true dominating forces within Call of Duty history. Optic Gaming now take to the field of battle expecting to be victorious. It is only in very rare circumstances that teams can assemble a star studded crop of talent that is capable of not only playing with each other but being able to complement each other as well. Through his impeccable standards both in game and out of it, his ambition to continuously improve upon his last victory and the levels he sets both himself and his team mates in 2017, FormaL takes his place in this year’s Esports Awards Hall of Fame as Esports Console Player of the Year.
In what was one of the fiercest and tightly contested awards categories the Esports Awards has ever had, it is Dr Disrespect with his hands held aloft and filled with an EIA awards trophy. Having had a sterling year, he has increased his reach tenfold and this award truly recognises the contribution he has made to the online esports streaming community. Dr Disrespect is known for his ability within an array of battle royale games, but especially PUBG. Through his charismatic somewhat misunderstood overconfident persona, he has gone on to become the unofficial face of Twitch. This isn’t just opinion however the numbers speak for themselves with over 1 million followers and over 35 million overall views to his name. With his trademark attire and that now infamous moustache the good Dr, racks up an impressive 36 hours of streaming on average each and every week. If you were to join the viewing of one of his streams you’d be viewing alongside a concurrent audience of over 30 thousand. Dr Disrespect truly had some stiff competition in this category this year holding off the reigning champion Michael “imaqtpie” Santana to secure his place in the Esports Awards Hall of Fame and cement his legacy for many a year to come. What set him apart from his peers was not only his sense for the dramatic, or even the visual elements he has incorporated but that he is genuinely funny. His sense of humour, his quick wit and his one liners have struck a chord with his audience and offset his arrogant persona. Dr Disrespect might be an entertainer, but he is certainly an entertainer that can back up his words with his in game ability and skill. The visuals, the humour, the gameplay have all helped to create what we know as Dr Disrespect today. That is one of the most likeable and one of the must watch streamers of 2017.